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Court Dismisses Case Against Democratic Party

Justice Musa Ssekaana delivered the verdict on an application filed by 32 DP challenging the decision by the NEC cancelling the election of executive committees in the area. The petitioners had completed grassroots elections up to the Municipal level.
Nobert Mao the President General of Democratic Party
The High Court Civil Division has dismissed an application challenging the cancellation of Democratic Party-DP elections in Makindye Ssabagabo Municipality in Wakiso District by the party National Executive Committee-NEC. 

Justice Musa Ssekaana delivered the verdict on an application filed by 32 DP challenging the decision by the NEC cancelling the election of executive committees in the area. The petitioners had completed grassroots elections up to the Municipal level.  

In their application, the petitioners accused the DP Secretary-General, Dr. Gerald Siranda of arbitrary halting the elections on grounds that he had received petitions challenging the manner in, which the grassroots polls were being conducted.  

They also argued that DP through its agents had fragrantly held fresh elections for leaders at village, parish and division levels in Makindye Ssabagabo Municipality with the help of Dick Lukyamuzi and Elijah Kazibwe in disregard of the established party structures.    According to the petitioners, by doing so, the party infringed on their civic rights enshrined in the 1995 constitution of the Republic of Uganda.

On January 9th 2020, the DP President General, Norbert Mao issued guidelines on the party road map leading to the National Delegate’s Conference where he directed the election of sub-branch and branch executive committees based on the party register. Mao also directed that the branch and sub-branch executive committees act within the party constitution and take decisions through the formal party structures.

However, the petitioners argued that the decision was irrational, unreasonable, illegal and constituted an egregious infringement and abuse of their rights to participate in the political affairs of the party.  They asked court to quash the party decision to halt the elections and declare the fresh elections and swearing-in of the new leaders resulting from the same elections null and void.

However, in his judgement, Justice Musa Ssekaana concurred with DP’s argument, that the NEC is mandated and duty-bound to supervise the administrative machinery of the party at all levels and to take all necessary measures to enforce party decisions.

He also noted that for purposes of the grassroots election, the DP NEC is the party’s electoral body, adding that whatever the district executive committee does in regards to supervising constituency elections are done on behalf of the NEC. He argued that NEC has powers to take over the conduct and supervision of elections from such district executive committee.

Ssekaana further found it logical that NEC took the decision to halt the mismanaged elections. “I find no fault in the manner in, which the DP NEC exercised its mandate hence both issues are answered in the negative. From the foregoing, the applicants are not granted the remedies sought. The matter is dismissed with costs to the applicants,” he wrote.

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